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Important updates regarding visa interviews, dropbox appointments at U.S. embassy and consulates in India

Foreign nationals in India continue to face challenges entering or returning to the United States.

The struggles stem from backlogs at the U.S. embassy and consulates, related to the global COVID-19 pandemic and other factors. The backlogs have led to difficulties securing visa interviews and dropbox appointments in India.

Because of the delays and excessive wait times to obtain a U.S. visa in India, Garfinkel Immigration Law Firm recommends that foreign nationals avoid all nonessential travel to India at present.

“Due to reduced staffing and numerous pandemic-related disruptions to our operations since March 2020, appointment demand is high across all visa categories,” an announcement posted on the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in India website read. “Wait times may be lengthy for most routine nonimmigrant visa appointments at the U.S. Embassy New Delhi and the consulates in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai.”

For example, as of July 24, 2022:

  • The wait time at the U.S. embassy in New Delhi was 556 calendar days for a visitor visa appointment. The wait time for all other nonimmigrant visa types was 287 calendar days.
  • At the U.S. consulate in Kolkata, the wait time for most nonimmigrant visa appointments was 226 calendar days, while foreign nationals hoping to schedule an appointment to acquire a visitor visa must wait 560 calendar days.
  • In Mumbai, the wait time for a visitor visa appointment at the U.S. consulate was 539 calendar days, while all other nonimmigrant visa appointments required a 122-calendar day wait time.

Garfinkel Immigration attorneys warn that the delays are also adversely impacting processing of visas after applicants have submitted their documents at dropbox appointments. Some applicants have waited 20 or more days following their dropbox appointment to receive their visas.

Those who must travel should consult with experienced immigration counsel to discuss the best options and strategies available to them.

The attorneys at Garfinkel Immigration Law Firm continue to monitor the situation closely and will advise clients as circumstances evolve.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact Garfinkel Immigration Law Firm at 704-442-8000 or via email with any questions.

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